Duke Prof: Nelson Mandela Asked Me To Take a Picture With Him

Dec 16, 2013

Nelson Mandela (left) with Mary and James Joseph
Credit Joseph family archives

Nelson Mandela was a global icon who had an incredible humility. And one of the interesting things I remember about my experience is that when I presented my credentials to Mandela, as the U.S. Ambassador, he invited my wife and I to have tea with him afterwards. And we were sitting there, both of us thinking, ‘How do we approach asking Mr. Mandela to take a picture with us?’

 Just about the time we kind of look at each other, thinking that this was the time to raise the question, he looked at me and said, ‘would the American Ambassador do me the honor of taking a picture with me?’ (Chuckles)

- James A. Joseph is a the former Ambassador to South Africa for President Clinton. He is now Professor Emeritus at the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University

- Listen to James Joseph's conversation with Frank Stasio